The 2018 Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of The Lord Buddha was held at Paul Keating Park in Bankstown, New South Wales on Saturday May 5, and was well attended by hundreds of enthusiastic and happy Buddhists and Non-Buddhists from around Sydney, and from around Australia.
The formal proceedings of this most auspicious event began at 10am with a warm welcome from the MC's and traditional Buddhist chanting in the Pali, Vietnamese, Tibetan and English languages, by representatives from the monastic communities of the three major Buddhist traditions of Theravada (School of the Elders), Mahayana (Great Vehicle) and Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle).
Prior to the chanting, Most Venerable Suddhamo, the president of the Buddhist Federation of Australia, gave a brief and insightful explanation on the significance and purpose of the chanting.
The chanting was followed by meaningful speeches delivered by a representative of the United Nations, as well as representatives of the federal, state and local governments.
The key-note speech on the events theme, 'The Spirit Of Generosity' was eloquently delivered by the Most Venerable Dhammagavesi Thero, the abbot of Lankarama Buddhist Temple, who pointed out the importance of generosity in every aspect of our lives, both individually and collectively.
The formal proceedings were rounded out with a Bathing of the Baby Buddha Ceremony and food offerings to the monastic community.
Throughout the day, attendees enjoyed delicious food from the many food stalls, as well as visiting the various other informative and educational information stalls.
The children and youth were also well catered for with fun activities provided, such as face painting, a jumping castle, fairy floss and other yummy delights on offer. They were also treated with an enjoyable and educational trivia quiz about the Buddha's life and teachings. A children's Buddhist art competition was also held, with all of the entrants receiving a prize. All winners and no losers.
Continuing with the festive atmosphere, the afternoon featured on stage performances of song and dance from the many cultures in attendance. It was as if we were all travelling the world without leaving Sydney. The event concluded at 3pm with all of the performers on stage performing a fun rendition of 'Wonderful World'. All in attendance had a wonderful time, with smiles all around.
We look forward to next years celebration. May we all be well and happy.
Avalokiteśvara is a female bodhisattva. There are many female Buddhists (upāsikā), but those who become sages or Buddhas are scarce.
According to the Southern Buddhist tradition (Theravāda), there exists the Therīgāthā (Songs of the Elder Nuns), which consists of seventy-three stories about the lives, cultivation, strenuous effort, and realized experiences of the elder nuns who were female arahants or on the way to arahantship. From accounts in the Buddhist Mahāyāna tradition, there are many sūtras related to several female bodhisattvas, such as Mahāsthāmaprāpta and Avalokiteśvara. The latter is assumed to be the most unique as she is the Great Compassionate Mother. She endows sentient beings with pleasure and saves them from misfortune; in particular, she takes sounds as her contemplative object and deeply listens to sentient beings crying from the suffering in life. Thus, in the mind of every Buddhist, she is a perfect symbol of the Compassionate Goddess in Buddhism.
I heard these words of the Buddha one time when the Lord was living in the vicinity of Shravasti at the Anathapindika mona-stery in the Jeta Park. Late at night a deva appeared whose light and beauty made the whole Jeta Grove shine radiantly.
In India in the 6th century BC, Sakyamuni, "a wise man of the Sakya tribe", had been meditating under a tree when, suddenly, he was struck with the comprehension of all things. He became Buddha, meaning the « Illuminated ». His message, based on a pragmatic philosophy, taught how to free oneself from all needs in order to achieve illumination. After the death of the Enlightened One, his disciples – a few monks – began to spread his teachings all over India, from Ceylon to the Himalayan. Fearing man’s penc
The first centuries of Buddhism saw very few visual representations of the Buddha, with Buddhist art consisting mainly of symbols. But beginning the 1st century AD, the Buddha image emerged and went on to become one of the most important ritual items in Buddhism. Images of the Buddha can now be found on altars, in temples, and just about anywhere else around the world.
For the first 600 or so years after his death, the Buddha and his teachings were represented in art by symbols such as the wheel, footprints, or empty thrones.
Siddartha Gautama (624-544 BC) was born as a prince in a small state in northern India in what is now Nepal. According to legend, several soothsayers predicted that if he stayed home he would become a universal king, but if he left he would become a Buddha.
In the sixth century before the Christian era, religion was forgotten in India. The lofty teachings of the Vedas were thrown into the background. There was much priestcraft everywhere. The insincere priests traded on religion. They duped the people in a variety of ways and amassed wealth for themselves. They were quite irreligious. In the name of religion, people followed in the footsteps of the cruel priests and performed meaningless rituals. They killed innocent dumb animals and did various sacrifices.
In the sixth century before the Christian era, religion was forgotten in India. The lofty teachings of the Vedas were thrown into the background. There was much priestcraft everywhere. The insincere priests traded on religion. They duped the people in a variety of ways and amassed wealth for themselves
Relatives and Disciples of the Buddha, which is the second book in the series of Buddhism books that I have written, is my fifth publication. Once the students have knowledge of the life story of the Buddha, they need to be introduced to His relatives and disciples. Parents or educators should introduce the students to the appropriate life stories as they mature in the Dhamma. They will then have a strong foundation and background, which will enhance their studies in the Dhamma.